Justin Wahyudi

Justin Wahyudi is an undergraduate student at UC Berkeley studying Bioengineering. Justin is interested in exploring the field of synthetic biology and its applications in healthcare and pharmaceutical settings. He is working with Dr. Jacob Hilzinger on the CUBES project to help genetically engineer A. platensis for its potential applications in pharmaceutical production and supporting space exploration.

Hanen Su

Hanen is an undergraduate at UC Berkeley studying Bioengineering. He is interested in utilizing computational and synthetic biology to reduce plastic pollution, develop new drugs and diagnostics, and improve food production and the environment, especially in poorer regions of the world. At CUBES, he is focusing on engineering microbes to produce bioplastics useful for applications in space missions as well as on Earth.

After undergrad, Hanen plans to pursue a PhD in bioengineering or biotechnology to grow as a scientist. He aims to start a company one day focusing on using bioengineering to address environmental and food insecurity issues around the globe.

Luz Arias

Luz Arias is a sophomore at UC Berkeley studying bioengineering. She is working with Hira Lesea on the ENIGMA project exploring the impact of microorganisms on polluted ecosystems. Outside of the lab, she’s occupied with cooking and skateboarding.

Xina Wang

Xina Wang is a freshman at UC Berkeley studying chemical biology. She is working with Dr. Sanders on protein engineering for bioplastics production in space and is interested in how synthetic biology can enable human space exploration as well as how biosystems in nature can be engineered for applications in biomanufacturing and biomedicine.

bearded postdoctoral fellow in blue shirt with blue and gray striped background

Avery Noonan

Avery is a postdoctoral researcher in the Environmental Genomics & Systems Biology Division at LBNL. Avery completed his BSc at the University of Toronto in Genetics and Geosciences in 2015 and his PhD at the University of British Columbia in the Genome Sciences and Technology program in 2023. His doctoral research related to the development of high-throughput screening paradigms for the study of photosynthetic microorganisms, as well as the application of computational tools to investigate microbial community structure and dynamics in natural and engineered environments, including photobioreactors and the human lung. In his role in the Arkin lab, Avery is using statistical and machine learning approaches to predict phage-host interactions with the goal of selecting or engineering phages to target specific human pathogens.

Shekhar Mishra

Shekhar obtained his B.Tech and M.Tech in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay in 2014. He discovered the joy of research through an internship in computational fluid dynamics, before moving into the field of systems biology with research on modeling the human cholesterol metabolism. After working as a Project Engineer for 9 months on fermentation technology at the DBT-ICT at Mumbai, India, Shekhar started his Ph.D. research at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering. His doctoral research, in the lab of Huimin Zhao, involved the interdisciplinary application of computational modeling, CRISPR editing and mass spectrometric techniques to design rational strategies for metabolic engineering in yeast. Shekhar joined the Arkin Lab in September 2023 as a postdoctoral researcher with an eye on employing the toolkits of metabolic engineering for improving predictive microbial ecology within the ENIGMA project. Shekhar’s goal is to pursue advances in research that inform strategies for mitigating the adverse effects of anthropogenic climate change. In his spare time, Shekhar volunteers with the Citizen’s Climate Lobby, plays the guitar, goes rock climbing, does some gardening, and tries to catch up to an ever-growing list of books to read.

Hue Ahnn

Undergraduate Hue Ahnn to work with Dr. Hilzinger to help develop innovative approaches to build on our recent successes engineering the cyanobacterial ‘superfood’, Spirulina (Arthrospira platensis) for production of pharmaceutical, nutrients, and flavors with application to supporting human exploration of space.

Cassandra Reyes

Cassandra is a motivated and curious senior undergraduate in the Bioengineering department
at UC Berkeley with a specific focus on cell and tissue engineering. She has previously worked
in immunology and polymer labs where she formulated and evaluated antibody-conjugated lipid
nanoparticles as well as contributed to the standardization of nanoindentation as a modality for
retrieval analysis of total knee replacement polymer components respectively. Through her
coursework and research experiences, she has developed a strong interest in the field of
synthetic biology which she hopes to utilize to solve problems caused by the climate crisis.
Currently, she is working with Gwyneth Hutchinson and NASA CUBES to engineer Spirulina for
pharmaceutical and flavor production with applications for supporting human exploration of
space. In her free time, you can catch her at the roller rink, or on a hike in the Berkeley hills.

Eliana Matos

Eliana Matos is a highly motivated student pursuing her studies in Bioengineering, with a specific focus on cell and tissue engineering. She has experience working and volunteering with a myriad of organizations, which range from nonprofit hospitals to YMCA Camp Campbell. Here, she effectively applies her optimistic outlook and critical thinking skills. Throughout her undergraduate career, Eliana has explored a broad range of classes and clubs, delving into fields such as neurotechnology, health care advocacy, as well as advanced mathematics and sciences related to engineering. While she expresses an interest in the path towards medical school, she remains fascinated by the multitude of opportunities that bioengineering could potentially offer her. For instance, during her first year of college, she co-authored a research paper on the potential for bioengineering in space exploration, an experience that utterly astounded her. The prospect of integrating her major with space exploration filled her with an exhilarating sense of anticipation. Eliana also enjoys going to the beach and hiking in her free time.